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Owl Creek Fen Savanna

No. 521


Photo by Josh Mayer


Owl Creek Fen Savanna is a large peatland complex that supports a diversity of natural features including central poor fen, tamarack swamp, alder thicket, and upland islands of pine and oak. Of note are unique savanna-like stands of open-grown aspen situated in a wet meadow dominated by blue-joint grass. Central Poor Fens are acidic, low-nutrient wetlands dominated by sedges including Carex oligosperma, C. lanuginosa, and C. utriculata.

Found within the Central Sand Plains of Wisconsin, they often intergrade with Tamarack Swamp. Other characteristic species include three-way sedge, fowl manna grass, swamp candles, cotton grass, bog goldenrod, swamp milkweed, bulblet water hemlock, and blue-flag iris. Birds include sandhill cranes, purple finches, and black-and-white warbler. Owl Creek Fen Savanna is owned by Wood County and was designated a State Natural Area in 2006.

Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the Maps tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

The good majority of SNAs are isolated and have few or no facilities. Some SNAs have vehicle access lanes or parking lots, but their accessibility may vary depending on weather conditions. Parking lots and lanes are not plowed during winter. Hiking trails may be nonexistent or consist of undeveloped footpaths. A GPS unit or compass and a detailed topographic map are useful tools for exploring larger SNAs.

Non-DNR lands

Entrance fees: For non-DNR-owned SNAs, we are unaware of any vehicle or admission fees. However, please contact the landowner for more information.

Hunting and trapping

This is a non-DNR-owned SNA: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the landowner. Please contact them directly to find out about their rules for hunting and trapping. You can find a link to other owner websites under the Resources tab.

Other activities

Other allowable activities such as - but not limited to camping, geocaching and bicycling are determined by the landowner. Please contact them directly or visit their websites for details.


Within the Wood County Forest. T22N-R3E, Sections 12, 13, 14. T22N-R4E, Sections 7, 18. 814 acres.

Driving directions

No direct access. From the intersection of Highway 80 and Main Street in Pittsville, go east on Main Street (Lincoln Road) for 3.1 miles, then south on Hemlock Road for 1.5 miles. Park where the road turns east. Walk southwest 1.3 miles into the site.

The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities.

Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details. The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries. To create your custom map where you can zoom to a specific location, please use the DNR's Mapping Application.

Property Map [PDF]

Owl Creek Fen Savanna is owned by: Wood County